Two Sonnets

I

"Why are your songs all wild and bitter sad
As funeral dirges with the orphans' cries?
Each night since first the world was made hath had
A sequent day to laugh it down the skies.
Chant us a glee to make our hearts rejoice,
Or seal in silence this unmanly moan."
My friend, I have no power to rule my voice --
A spirit lifts me where I lie alone,
And thrills me into song by its own laws;
That which I feel, but seldom know, indeed
Tempering the melody it could not cause.


Woman And War

We women teach our little sons how wrong
And how ignoble blows are; school and church
Support our precepts and inoculate
The growing minds with thoughts of love and peace.
‘Let dogs delight to bark and bite, ’ we say;
But human beings with immortal souls
Must rise above the methods of the brute
And walk with reason and with self-control.

And then – dear God! you men, you wise, strong men,
Our self-announced superiors in brain,
Our peers in judgement, you go forth to war!
You leap at one another, mutilate


Understand That This Is a Dream

Real as a dream
What shall I do with this great opportunity to fly?
What is the interpretation of this planet, this moon?
if I can dream that I dream / and dream anything dreamable / can I dream
I am awake / and why do that?
When I dream in a dream that I wake / up what
happens when I try to move?
I dream that I move
and the effort moves and moves
till I move / and my arm hurts
Then I wake up / dismayed / I was dreaming / I was waking
when I was dreaming still / just now.
and try to remember next time in dreams


Uncle Ananias

His words were magic and his heart was true,
And everywhere he wandered he was blessed.
Out of all ancient men my childhood knew
I choose him and I mark him for the best.
Of all authoritative liars, too,
I crown him loveliest.

How fondly I remember the delight
That always glorified him in the spring;
The glorious profusion and the benedight
Profusion of his faith in everything!
He was a good old man, and it was right
That he should have his fling.

And often, underneath the apple trees,


Two Lovers

Their eyes met; flashed an instant like swift swords
That leapt unparring to each other's heart,
Jarring convulsion through the inmost chords;
Then fell, for they had fully done their part.

She, in the manner of her folk unveiled,
Might have been veiled for all he saw of her;
Those sudden eyes, from which he reeled and quailed;
The old life dead, no new life yet astir.

His good steed bore him onward slow and proud:
And through the open lattice still she leant;


To R.B

The fine delight that fathers thought; the strong
Spur, live and lancing like the blowpipe flame,
Breathes once and, quenchèd faster than it came,
Leaves yet the mind a mother of immortal song.
Nine months she then, nay years, nine years she long
Within her wears, bears, cares and moulds the same:
The widow of an insight lost she lives, with aim
Now known and hand at work now never wrong.
Sweet fire the sire of muse, my soul needs this;
I want the one rapture of an inspiration.
O then if in my lagging lines you miss


To a Mountain

To thee, O father of the stately peaks,
Above me in the loftier light -- to thee,
Imperial brother of those awful hills
Whose feet are set in splendid spheres of flame,
Whose heads are where the gods are, and whose sides
Of strength are belted round with all the zones
Of all the world, I dedicate these songs.
And if, within the compass of this book,
There lives and glows ONE verse in which there beats
The pulse of wind and torrent -- if ONE line
Is here that like a running water sounds,


To A Familiar Genius Flying By

Reveal yourself, anonymous enchanter!
What heaven hastens you to me?
Why draw me to that promised land again
That I gave up so long ago?

Was it not you who in my youth
Enchanted me with such sweet dreams,
Did you not whisper, long ago,
Dear hopes of a guests ethereal?

Was it not you through whom all lived
In golden days, in happy lands
Of fragrant meadows, waters bright,
Where days were merry ?neath clear skies?

Was it not you who breathed into my vernal breast
Some melancholy mysteries


To ---

I remember the marvellous moment
you appeared before me,
like a transient vision,
like pure beauty’s spirit.

Lost in hopeless sadness,
lost in the loud world’s turmoil,
I heard your voice’s echo,
and often dreamed your features.

Years passed. The storm winds scattered,
with turbulent gusts, that dreaming.
I forgot your voice, its tenderness.
I forgot your lovely face.

Remote in my darkened exile,
the days dragged by so slowly,
without grace, without inspiration,


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